Can’t think of a single thing to write about here today. Therefore, not going to try, as there is nothing more pathetic than typing simply to hear the clack of your keys. If someone wants to suggest a topic for tomorrow, please be my guest. This also serves as your open thread invitation. Chat amongst yourselves.

14 Comments on “Duuuuuuuuuuh”

  1. I was going to comment about a conversation I had with a friend this morning about what would happen in the unlikely event that we are successful in Iraq and democracy takes hold. Instead, I’ll just say…The Aristocrats. Before seeing it, I couldn’t understand how a movie that has no sex, nudity, violence, etc. could possibly fear worse than an “R” rating. How could comedians telling a joke, cameras on faces and simple spoken language, be so bad as to warrant an “NC-17” or “X” rating?Now I understand. The Aristocrats is without question the most offensive, vulgar movie that I’ve ever seen. And I can’t remember when I’ve laughed so hard. It’s not for everyone; in fact, probably not for most people. The joke itself is not funny. Seeing all those comedians try to make it funny, though…Oh. My. God!My question is this: Where is the line? At what point does language, the expression of thoughts or ideas, cross that line? When does the simple description of an unacceptable act become as reviled as the act itself? I guess what I’m thinking of here is “Sticks and stones…etc.” I mean, they’re just words, right?

  2. I read this really great book the other day before going to Charles Stross’s accelerando: Minister Faust’s The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad.

    Basically, a pair of African-ancestry Canadian Trekkies get dragged into a search for a powerful Egyptian artifact, all the while facing off against a Norse/Tibetan cabal of bad guys/crazies. Too much fun.

  3. I’ve got a suggestion for a post AND a question for everyone else all rolled into one:

    When did you realize you wanted to be a writer, and what motivated you to start writing seriously (writing in hopes of being published as opposed to writing just for fun)?

  4. Here’s a topic – after the success of Agent to the Stars, and Accelerando and Cory Doctorow’s books, what other books are available online under a creative commons license (or something similar) – and are recommended?

  5. Is the increasing monoculture of MTV a reaction to, or a sign of the failure of, the supposed “democratization of art” that the internet was supposed to bring?

    Which is to say, are things getting more boring from the top down music market because the Internet has escape-valved the music folks (artists and support staff) who are interested in the music itself, or are they getting more boring because the internet did the opposite of what it was supposed to do (instead of bringing the smaller voices to audible volume, it has made the bigger voices so loud that nothing else can be heard).

    For open discussion, or tomorrow blogginess… or whatever.

  6. Sub-question: Is the music market getting more boring from the top down? Or is it just that I’m getting older and have come to terms with a persistent, older, reality?

  7. Music is getting very interesting, but it’s so segmented and splintered that you need to work to find it and keep up with it. Try digging, and I mean really digging, through iTunes one day and you’ll see what I mean. Or even better, pick up your local weekly alternative newspaper and get a feel for the local scene.

    As for what I think you mean by the “top down”…it’s generally pablum — garbage that’s homogenized to serve as background music for the workday or will hit the right notes for people to hear it on the radio and request it. Our local NPR affiliate actually just started its own modern music station that’s VERY different from the norm, however. I’m quite curious to see how that experiment pans out.

  8. I suppose I could clarify what I mean by top-down…

    The music which finds its audience through the largest music exposure channels (in America). MTV, Radio 1, Clear-channel, and… uhh… the third radio giant who name I usually forget (and have again forgotten.

    The musical venues which have the largest audience:programmer ratios. (For example, digging through iTunes digging has a ratio around 1 or 2, a night-club DJ has 100-2000, etc)

  9. I second the recommendations from the first two posters.

    (Partial Spoilers for the Aristocrats) Burns!, I was thinking that they were dancing around that question in the movie, too. Especially by the end, when some of the comedians were musing on what crosses the line nowadays. Some of the jokes (the Onion guy’s blackface thing, and what’s-his-face’s trio of women thing) were almost posited rather than told, and it was funny to listen to the audience. Instead of the staccato gasps of laughter heard throughout the whole movie (so as to not miss the next funny lines), we all cooled the F out as if to say, “Yup, that right there crosses the line.” So the “line” is a…what, a sine wave? A probability cloud? It’s there, though.

    One of the funnier routines was the South Park sketch, which can be seen here, and BOY is it not safe for work. You (not Burns!, you liked it, but anyone else) also might not find it funny. Some might consider it a mite offensive.

    To Ohako and Cross777, Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad is a science fiction book I’d love to see turned into a movie. This may reveal some personal prejudices, but I would’ve never imagined Edmonton (or “E-Town”) to be so…interesting! Faust (if that IS his real name) did such a great job of making all the characters, good and eeevil, sympathetic. I hope it doesn’t take him another 5-10 years to finish his next book.

    I also thought Neal Stephenson’s The Big U would make a great movie or mini-series. It would be horribly expensive and probably unpopular. Hell, even Neal basically disowned it. But if I ever come into a multi-million dollar windfall, that’s what I would squander it on.

  10. Thanks for the link to the South Park clip. That was one of the especially funny bits.

  11. Re: the aristocrats.

    Saw it last week and laughed my posterior off. I am still shocked at what I laughed at. Gilbert Gottfried describing why there would be blood and the punch line to Sarah Silverman’s version of the joke were both deeply disturbing and screamingly funny.

    On crossing the line, the guy who told the joke where the act was three african-american women made a very basic mistake. He was a white guy telling the joke; Whoopi Goldberg could have probably told the joke and you would have laughed. Jokes that are borderline racist can be funny if told by the group that are the alleged victims. Hence I could tell Italian jokes (being of Italian origin) or Canadian jokes (Two Canadians walk into bar; they buy each other a drink). I couldn’t tell a joke that starts “Two jews..” without being virulantly anti-semitic.

    One think that struck me was the difference between the women that told the joke and the men. The men told the joke as “This guy walks into a talent agent’s office”. When the women told the joke, they acted like they were participants. Sarah Silverman’s was especially graphic in this way, but Carrie Fisher telling the joke about her mum and dad and the pregnant comic talking about her unborn child were also very personal.


  12. I haven’t seen The Aristocrats yet, but I’ve seen the South Park clip and what makes me howl every time I hear it is Cartman saying “Hang on, Kyle” in tones of the utmost urbanity (quite at odds, of course, to Cartman’s normal persona) when Kyle objects to the joke. Now that’s comedy.

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